History and Evolution Scientists don’t know when language was first used by humans or their ancestors Estimates range –2 million years ago Homo habilis –40 thousand years ago Cro-Magnon man –Writing came much later, so there’s not a lot of data –Oral tradition There are an estimated 6,089 languages actively used in the world
Babel Christian tradition –Babel (Babylon) was a city that united humanity, all speaking a single language and migrating from the east; it was the first city to be built after the Great Flood. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have "its top in the heavens." Do you know how the story goes?
Culture Hearth An area where a distinctive set of cultural traits develops –Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia) –Nile River Valley (Modern Egypt, Ethiopia)
Huong- Yellow River Ganges Plain Indus Valley Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia) West Africa Meso- (Middle) America Andean America Nile River Valley
The first person that I see touch their nose with their left index finger gets….. To answer a question about this lesson… If they get it right, man…it’s CANDY CITY!
Question How many languages are there, roughly? A. 4,000 B. 5,000 C. 6,000 D. 7,000
Brothers, Sisters, Cousins Just like our society, languages are grouped into families that have common ancestors –Who is the common ancestor of you and your mother or father? –Who is the common ancestor of you and your cousin? –What language is the common ancestor of French and Spanish? –From what language has English evolved?
Major Language Families Indo-European Largest Family –3 billion speakers Roughly half the World’s population –Divided into 443 different languages –Most of the major languages of Europe, the Americas, and many Asian languages
Indo-European (cont’d) Each of the following languages is an Indo- European language that has more than 100 million speakers –Bengali (India, Bangladesh) –English (scattered…why?) –French (scattered…why?) –German (scattered…why?) –Hindi (India) –Portuguese (scattered…why?) –Russian (Russia and former USSR) –Spanish (scattered…why?)
Tribal Central and Southern African Languages Were spread by the Bantu Tribe between 5 and 7 thousand years ago (5000 BC- 3000BC) The Bantu were forced to move southward because of invasion, drought, and possible internal strife
“Tribal” is the name that I have given to those languages originating with the Bantu Migration –Khosian –Niger-Congo –Nilo-saharan Languages used primarily south of the Sahara Desert
Austronesian Fewest number of native speakers Largest number of languages… Where From Madagascar to Easter Island
Why are there so few Austronesian language speakers, yet so many languages?
A “Created Language?” Esperanto… Compilation of different languages Designed to make it easy for everyone to communicate 1800s-early 1900s as many as 2 million people learned the language No country adopted it, though The Esperanto Alphabet: –a b c ĉ d e f g ĝ h ĥ i j ĵ k l m n o p r s ŝ t u ŭ v z